The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
SPOILER ALERT: If you have not watched the Jan. 31 episode of Justified, stop reading. This post does talk about what happened.
If you are hired for a guest role on Justified, odds are you may not be getting a long-term contract. Several characters were one-and-dones in Tuesday’s (Jan. 31, 2012) episode of Justified, including yet another character that looked like he might have been fun to have around for a while.
Pawn shop owner Glenn Fogel hid his lethal side under a drawl, a smile and some witty banter, particularly when Raylan showed up sniffing around. Unfortunately, Glenn surrounded himself with unpredictable drug addicts who got to carry guns, so he won’t be back again this season … or ever.
But fear not. He may have been one bad guy too many this season, and this was the episode that set up the bad guys.
It started with Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson) and Boyd (Walton Goggins) meeting on a bridge to discuss Mags’ missing money, but Limehouse had a trump card informing Boyd that his lackeys had not followed his orders to burn the marijuana he had that had gone bad since they had taken it from the Bennetts.
There is an order of natural selection in the Harlan criminal word, and sidekicks like Devil (Kevin Rankin) aren’t in the positions they’re in because they couldn’t get tenure at UK. Scenes like the one this episode, Harlan Roulette, was named after are actually great stay off drugs messages because the addicts invariably make very bad, often fatal decisions.
One of the things that makes the show cool is the mutual respect guys like Boyd and Limehouse have for each other because, despite their differences, they know they’re the smartest guys in the room – or on the bridge, as it would be. And everyone knows Raylan is smart … well, everyone except Quarles (Neal McDonogh), this year’s city-slicker bad guy who fancies himself the smartest in Kentucky.
We got to know him a bit better this episode and know his plans for setting up what sounds like a fairly sophisticated operation for running the pill pipeline through Harlan. The scene where he details his plans to Duffy (Jere Burns) has a brilliant look behind the mask. While Quarles is on the phone selling his son on what a great place Kentucky is going to be to live, Duffy goes looking for a bathroom in Quarles new home but finds an oxy addict tied up in a bed. It’s up there on the creepy scale with Mags serving apple pie at the end last year’s season premiere.
The episode ended with a game-on exchange between Raylan and Quarles that indicates things are about to get explosive. And some more one-and-done characters won’t be making it to the end.
The exception to the smart rule would have to be Dickie (Jeremy Davies), who we’ll be talking about at length next week.
About Rich Copley & Copious Notes
Raised by opera-loving parents in a rock ’n’ roll world, Rich Copley has parlayed his broad interests into his career writing about arts and entertainment. Since 1998, he has covered performing arts, film and faith-based popular culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper in Lexington, Ky. MORE | E-mail Rich